Article 1, Section 8 of the Constitution gives to Congress exclusively the authority “To establish a uniform Rule of Naturalization.” When the President presumes to change immigration law by executive order, Congress has an obligation to stop his power grab. This authority does not belong to the executive branch. Stopping unconstitutional executive action is done by Congress barring funds from being used to execute it, commonly called “defunding” it.
Immigration reform starts with securing the border, enforcing the law, and tracking guest workers and other visa users.
We should enhance border security by extending and reinforcing physical barriers along the southern border, augmented with sufficient surveillance assets to alert authorities of illegal entries. I also support increasing our response capability. I cannot support other immigration reform until we secure the border and enforce the immigration laws already on the books.
The Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986 demonstrated that simply giving citizenship to illegal aliens does not slow or stop illegal immigration so long as the border is unsecured and guest workers are not tracked. According to the Pew Research Center, the number of illegal aliens living in the United States has actually risen from about 2.9 million in 1995 to 11.3 million in 2014. We have seen that merely discussing comprehensive immigration reform incentivizes and accelerates illegal immigration.
Here is my stance on issues related to any legislative reform of our immigration laws:
- I will vote “no” on any bill where Congress and the public are not given sufficient time for reading, deliberating, and vetting. Immigration reform must not be passed like Obamacare was, in a secretive, rushed, and frenzied manner. Immigration bills must go through regular order.
- Immigration reform starts with truly accountable border security, including regular audits and oversight from Congress.
- We cannot reward people who broke our laws, including immigration laws.
In the 114th Congress, I have co-sponsored multiple bills regarding immigration, including:
- R. 191, the Repeal Executive Amnesty Act, to clarify that the proper constitutional authority for immigration policy belongs to the legislative branch. This bill shifts the authority to parole an alien from the U.S. Attorney General to the Department of Homeland Security.
- R. 2942, the Stop Catch and Release Act, to require the Secretary of Homeland Security to detain any alien who is arrested for certain criminal offenses while unlawfully present in the United States.
- R. 2964, the Clear Law Enforcement for Criminal Alien Removal (CLEAR) Act, to enhance law enforcement efforts by listing immigration violators in the National Crime Information Center database and allowing state and local law enforcement personnel to investigate, apprehend, and transfer to federal custody aliens in the United States.
- R. 3002, the Mobilizing Against Sanctuary Cities Act, to prohibit any federal financial assistance to a state or local government for at least one year if it restricts sending or receiving information from the federal immigration agency regarding immigration or citizenship status, or maintaining or exchanging information about an individual’s status.
- H.R. 3011, the Establishing Mandatory Minimums for Illegal Reentry Act, to amend the Immigration Nationality Act to increase the penalties applicable to aliens who unlawfully reenter the United States after being removed.